Warning worst weather yet to come

Rain combined with a king tide closed part of Tamaki Dr on Auckland's waterfront this morning....
Rain combined with a king tide closed part of Tamaki Dr on Auckland's waterfront this morning. Photo: NZ Herald
While parts of the North Island have already copped a drenching, forecasters warn we haven't seen the worst of the winds yet.

Coromandel, Auckland, Waitomo and the Bay of Plenty are likely to be hit by powerful winds of up to 120 kilometres an hour between 7 and 10 this morning.

Weatherwatch head forecaster Philip Duncan said the storm system will continue to gain power as it moves down the country.

"The worst of the wind, they're wrapped around the centre of the low, and because the low is still developing we're not likely to see the worst of those winds until the centre of the system comes up and landfall is likely to be somewhere around Taranaki and the rest of the western North Island."

The system is forecast to bring heavy rain followed by winds to Taranaki, Nelson and Marlborough throughout today.

Heavy rain and king tides yesterday swamped waterfronts in Auckland and Northland, closing roads and flooding reserves.

The MetService has a severe weather warning in place - predicting heavy rain and severe gales.

It says the heaviest rain is expected in Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, northern Gisborne, Mount Taranaki, Tongariro National Park, the Tararua Range, Marlborough, and Nelson.

The strongest winds are expected across the upper North Island, from Taranaki and Taihape to Bay of Plenty northwards.

"The combination of strong winds and high tides could cause coastal inundation, especially about eastern areas from Northland to Bay of Plenty including the Firth of Thames." 

Coromandel Civil Defence officials says most campers have left camping grounds in the region.

There were no significant problems on Thursday apart from the water supply to Hikutaia, the Thames-Coromandel District Council says.

The fast-moving front is expected to clear the country by Saturday.


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